Leaving Camp Peat

It seems several people I’ve met in Ray Peat land have digestive disorders that they didn’t have when they started eating Peat’s recommended low-fiber high-sugar diet. And please, if I hear one more time that Ray Peat doesn’t recommend any diet in particular….Yes He Does.  He recommends a high carbohydrate, low fiber diet that keeps phosphorus low and calcium high.  He recommends dairy, fruit, and orange juice.  He recommends keeping meat intake on the lower side but is not opposed to meat consumption.  He recommends eating sugar when fruit is not available.  Does he recommend the exact same foods in the exact same proportions for everyone?  Well no – but neither does Paleo or Low Carb or Low Fat or the other big Ways of Eating.

I notice a lot of the Peatarians are worried they might have SIBO, though few are willing to test and find out for sure.  There seems to be a mistrust of testing among the Peat crowd.  Maybe they figure they can’t trust modern medicine so why bother with the testing made available by modern medicine.  This is one area in which we disagree.

If it can’t be expressed in figures, it’s not science, it’s opinion.

– Lazarus Long

I was one of them, waited about a year before testing, found out I didn’t have SIBO.  I have something though – and after much trial and error with diet, probiotics, antibiotics, and prebiotics – I’ve come to the conclusion that the dysbiosis in my gut wasn’t caused by following a Peat diet, but it may have been made worse by it.

In the health world everybody seems to have grabbed part of the elephant and is certain their part is the truth, the entirety of the story:

For example, low carb helps some people for some period of time so some people decide low carb is the way to go.  In a subset of those people they remain low carb forever, and it never disagrees with them.  Maybe they have just the right combination of genetics and the stars aligned just perfectly on the day they were born, and now low carb makes them feel awesome forever.  I’d put many of our low carb gurus in this category – not all of them – but many of them.  And then some of them do better on low carb or Paleo than on anything else they’ve tried, so they’re still waving the low-carb flag even when it doesn’t seem to work anymore, as evidenced by fatigue, hair loss, and other thyroid problems.  It’s the same thing with our high carb or vegan gurus – I’m looking at you, Durianrider – great that you’ve found what works for you, but really – stop trying to make everyone else eat 40 bananas a day.

Isn’t it possible, everyone, that what works for you doesn’t work for me?  And it’s not just that I’m doing it wrong or I’m not committed enough or didn’t yet read that latest study on rats getting itty bitty microbiome transplants?

Anyway, I’ve gotten off track a little.

I appreciate what I’ve learned from Ray Peat but I find his followers to be unwilling to discuss alternatives when Ray’s recommendations don’t work. Similarly, I appreciate what I’ve learned along the way about Low Carb and Paleo, but those aren’t really working for me either.  I’m going to stop looking for a guru at this point and continue to experiment and find my own way.

I’m on Day 4 of Alt Shift right now.  It’s basically a schedule of macronutrient cycling but I haven’t seen one just like it before and people are having good results.  I’m not counting calories but I am following the general guidelines of the program.  A lot of the women following it and speaking up on the Facebook group are having trouble getting in enough food and they’re “stuffed all the time”.  Geez, that’s never been my problem.  I’m amazed I don’t gain weight at an alarming rate with the amount of food I need to eat to avoid hunger. Even when in the process of losing almost 20 pounds last Spring I’m sure I was eating about 2500 calories a day.

It’s really not about the calories.  FOR ME, anyway.

And on that note, I’ll /end this aimless rant.

6 thoughts on “Leaving Camp Peat

  1. Definitely second the genetic lottery aspect. Personally seen many whose bodies behave like machines. Want more muscle? Lift some more. Want to lose fat? Eat low carb/salads/protein shakes. Want to gain fat? Eat some more/carb loading whatever. If I try any of that I would end up with low thyroid/anxiety/adrenal fatigue etc

    It may turn out their genes determine the small gut permeability (CD14 probably). For you and me the answers are not apparent. Yet. I remain hopeful.

    I would definitely not dis the Peat fundamentals.

  2. Not what I meant. I meant the Peat fundamentals always shine through. The more studies I read the more impressive it becomes. The people on the forum seem a little narrow minded. Anyways I like to focus on the science. Endotoxin definitely a big issue. Serotonin nitric oxide, progesterone, niacin amide, thyroid, aspirin etc are recurring themes that always seems to prove Peat fundamentals. Nothing Peat recommends like bamboo shoots or carrots or mushrooms have solved the gut issue. Doesn’t make the rest of the fundamentals faulty.

  3. Dear Lanie,
    I am happy you are feeling better. It is inspiring to see your commitment to your health in action and I am grateful to you for sharing yours so openly with others.

    I am a follower of Ray Peat. I met Ray Peat in 1990. He saved my life. I was a tofu eating, flax seed oil drinking, peanut butter smearing, fermented vegetable eating gagging, California Vegan girl. I was freezing to death, gaining weight, falling asleep in the middle of conversations with people and exhausted. A friend of mine who was also vegan told me about meeting Ray so I called him. Very kindly Ray just asked me what I ate. I told him and he explained to me in very easy to understand language what each of the things I was currently eating was doing to me. I stopped them all and in 3 days was a different person.

    Over the years I continued to follow Ray’s advice about most things. However being a woman and subject to the constant shaming I put upon myself to look a certain way, I would go back to my old ways of Atkins, starvation and low, low, low calorie and get all messed up again. I was still getting Ray’s newsletters and would glance at them and say someday when I lose all this weight I will go back to all of this and put Ray’s newsletters in the beautiful folder I had for them and into my sock drawer.

    Then 12 years ago I met my husband and everything changed. I was in one of those high protein low carb, low calorie phases when I met him. I was still measuring my self worth by how little I could eat and still be alive. He, my husband, was shocked and heartbroken by how little I ate. He asked questions, he listened to my long explanations of why starving myself was ok, and then he made me eat. It took me a few years and then some to get where I am today. He loved me when I couldn’t love myself yet. At a certain point I had to give in to his way of thinking which was I am enough period. No asterisks, no except for, just enough.
    I told him about My meeting Ray years earlier and he encouraged me to find him again and reconnect . I pulled the newsletters out of the sock drawer and began again.

    I now work with Ray on a regular basis and am so grateful for his kindness, his wisdom and his sense of humor. I cannot speak for anyone else but Ray DOES encourage ongoing testing. In fact, he was the person who told me about ‘request a test’. The three of us, Ray, my doctor and myself work closely together to monitor all kinds of test results. Ray uses test results extensively when he works with you. Like I said I don’t know why others don’t, maybe it is the cost. I don’t know. I can only speak for me and my experience of working with him. He was also very pro doctor and suggested I have one to work with. My husband found a great one for me who is a thyroid specialist and turns out really respects and admires Ray’s work.

    I read lots of forums and articles and blogs about Ray Peat. People say lots of things and do lots of things claiming to represent him. I try not to judge what people say or do. I recognize my connectedness to all of them and we are all on the same path of trying to live a healthy self-loving life. However, if I find something of interest that I read I just ask Ray. Sometimes people wrote something he said and he did and other times when I ask he says no. No matter the answer, Ray is always kind about it. I have never heard him be anything less than that.

    I just wanted to say, as someone who knows Ray and works with him, he has always used and recommended tests as a way of understanding your total health and he has always recommended to me to find a good doctor to work with. What others do in his name is between them and Ray.

    Much much love to you and I look forward to all your posts. They inspire me and I am always grateful to get them!

  4. What a beautiful testimonial. Thanks for sharing your story with me and making these points clear. I have also found Ray to be a kind and generous person, and have been very grateful for his quick responses when I have emailed him.

  5. Oh sorry – I see now that you said “fundamentals,” not “fundamentalists”. My bad. 🙂 I have learned a lot from Ray Peat and will continue to, I imagine. This was on my mind today because I separated myself from RP crowd by leaving the Facebook group yesterday after realizing the folks there aren’t willing to consider other ideas. I still think many of RP’s ideas are brilliant and groundbreaking. And I still don’t eat much PUFA.

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